Friday, August 19, 2005


I recently had a conversation with a friend who said she was disheartened by "Joe's" attitude when stating he felt he had been disallowed by racism from certain levels of success.

My reply was that Joe's statement was not an acknowledgment of impotence but rather helplessness. The difference? Impotence suggests an inherent lack of power, while helplessness denotes just that - a lack of help, assistance, guidance. Semantics, I know. But there is power in words.

Man seems to have this inherent need to control his destiny. When confronted with obstacles he cannot navigate, rather than concede defeat, he excuses himself, engaging in the mental gymnastics necessary for the integrity of his ego. He blames someone or something else for either denying him access to information necessary to overcome the challenge before him, or for not being available to coach him through to victory.

His admission is in fact more clearly translated as "I haven't found a way."

In the movie 'Entrapment', starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, there is a scene where Zeta-Jones' character must maneuver through a complicated grid of laser sensors to reach a coveted treasure piece. The complex array of laser sensors represents racism. The skill set necessary to successfully navigate such an array is the answer eluding many who recognize the sophistication of the system of racism.

The problem is that most have not had a blueprint to study, nor a coach/mentor to help develop that navigational skill essential for success. Out of frustration, most succumb to a defeatus attitude.
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